Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Updated: September 17, 12:57 AM ET
Chad Ochocinco angers Tedy Bruschi
New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco drew more attention for a tweet about Monday's game than for what he did on the field against the Dolphins.
Reacting to quarterback Tom Brady throwing for 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 win over Miami, Ochocinco tweeted: "Just waking up after a late arrival, I've never seen a machine operate like that n person, to see video game numbers put up n person was WOW."
Despite the Patriots marching up and down the field, Ochocinco had only one catch for 14 yards. Five New England receivers had more yards and three of the five had touchdown receptions.
ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, appearing on sports radio WEEI, said Ochocinco better "drop the awe factor" and "stop tweeting and get in your playbook."
Bruschi added that Ochocinco shouldn't be looking at the Patriots' performance from a fan's perspective, but instead should assume this is the team's expectation.
"You're not someone who's on another team or watching TV," Bruschi said. "You're not an analyst. You're a part of it. They want you to be a part of it. So get with the program because obviously you're not getting it and you're tweeting because you're saying, 'It's amazing to see'? It's amazing to see because you don't understand it. You still don't understand it and it's amazing to you because you can't get it.
"Wake up! If you're just waking up now -- I don't know when this was, six minutes ago? -- get out your bed and get to the stadium and watch some film if you still think it's amazing. If you're in it and you know what you're doing and you execute out there, you don't think it's amazing. You know why? Because it's what you're supposed to do."
After his comments caused a firestorm, Bruschi stood by what he said in an appearance on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Thursday.
"I asked myself, 'Was I hard on the guy? Was I a little bit harsh?'" Bruschi said. "So what I did was I leaned on some of my former teammates. These are teammates that did some very impressive things that made a lot of people say 'Wow.' The one question I asked them was, "Were you ever in awe of what we accomplished as we were accomplishing it?' And to a man the answer was 'No.'"
The Patriots acquired Ochocinco, a six-time Pro Bowl player, from the Cincinnati Bengals in late July. Due to the lockout and the late offseason trade, the 10-year veteran had to play catch-up learning the Patriots' system.
At practice on Wednesday, Brady said he has no problem with Ochocinco.
"Everyone has an opinion on everything, and none of it really means anything," he said. "The only thing that means anything are the guys in this locker room and what we do every day in practice."
During his weekly appearance on WEEI earlier Wednesday, Brady was asked about Ochocinco's tweet.
"Chad, from the day that he got here, he's worked really hard to be a part of this offense and be involved," Brady told the "Dennis & Callahan" program.
"I don't know when he said that [about being in awe] or what he said, but I know that we're counting on him to be a huge contributor. And he expects that, too. He expects to be out there making plays. When I'm in the huddle with him, he's very excited about being out there, making catches, doing the right thing and being in the right spot."
Before practice on Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Ochocinco's role heading into Sunday's game against the Chargers.
"I think all the players that participate in the game will have an important role, absolutely. It's not really my job to pad up individual statistics for any player on the team -- I'm not really interested in that," he said. "The only statistic I care about is the final score, and that's what our goal is. I know everyone else wants to talk about and write about individual stats, what each individual's production is, but really I'm concerned about the team success. That's the way it'll always be."
Brady spread the ball around on Monday, with eight different receivers making catches. Wes Welker led with eight grabs for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted 12 times, compared to three for Ochocinco.
Brady was asked on WEEI if he could reach the same comfort level with Ochocinco that he has with Deion Branch and Welker.
"I certainly hope so. We're going to need him," Brady said. "He does have my confidence. He has my trust. When he's out there, I'm definitely looking for him. He's going to be a big part of this offense, whether it plays out in Week 1, Week 3, or Week 5, every player on the roster is going to be counted on at some point."
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss contributed to this report.